Heb. xii. 2. "Not with bodily eyes, for at pre­sent He is not to be looked upon in this manner, but with the eyes of the understanding, or with the eye of faith; for faith is a seeing of the Son; it is a spiritual sight of Christ, which is at first but glimmering, afterwards it increases, and is of a soul-humbling nature."




(Article taken from the booklet “Miscellaneous Articles” by the late Elder W. S. Craig)

PB-History / David Montgomery

 

 

 

Phils. i. 29. "Reader! do not overlook this precious verse, and the doctrine contained in it, that it is given to the Church, in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also, if needful, to suffer for His sake. Yes! faith and fortitude are the Lord's gifts, and not our graces. When a child of God believes to the salvation of his soul, the strength of that faith, and all the parts of that faith, are from the Lord. It is blessed to believe, blessed to be firm in that belief: blessed to be­lieve always. But the largest portions of faith are all the Lord's gifts. And wherein no man's faith differs from another, the different measures of grace are His, who is both the Author and Finish­er of faith. So that the strong in faith, when taught of God, in the exercise of it, will always rejoice in the great Object of faith, the Lord Jesus; and not in themselves, from the fruits and effects of it. Oh! for grace both to believe in Christ; and if needs be, to suffer for His sake."­Hawker, 9-9.

Phils. i. 29. ''For faith in Christ, which is not merely believing that He is the Christ, and all that is said of Him, or all that He Himself says, but is a seeing of the Son, a going to Him, receiving, embracing, leaning, relying, and living upon Him, as Gods salvation, is a pure gift of grace; it is not in nature, nor in every man, and in whom it is, it is not of themselves, it is the gift of God; the first implantation of it, all its acts and exercise, its increase, and the performance of it at last with power, are all owing to the grace of God; and this is only given to the elect; for it is a distinguishing gift; it is given to them, and them alone, and therefore called the faith of 'God's elect."-Gill, 9-132-3.

Heb. xii. 2. "Reader! just pause to ask your own heart, are you looking to Jesus? Is He, in your view, both the Author and Finisher of faith? Many there are, who seem very willing to make Him the Author, but feel somewhat reluctant to accept Him as the Finisher. And what is this but pharisaical pride? I humbly conceive, such men, if under divine teaching, might soon learn the danger of this error. Let them ask themselves this one simple question, How did I first look to Jesus? Was it not as a poor, helpless, friendless, needy, self-condemned sinner? And have I any thing of my own now, to recommend me any other­ wise? Let this question be fairly applied to the heart, under divine teaching, and sure I am there will not be a child of God upon earth, if truly taught of God, but what will be then as ready to make Jesus as much the Finisher as the Author both of his faith and salvation."-Hawker, 9-300.

Heb. xii. 2. "Not with bodily eyes, for at present He is not to be looked upon in this manner, but with the eyes of the understanding, or with the eye of faith; for faith is a seeing of the Son; it is a spiritual sight of Christ, which is at first but glimmering, afterwards it increases, and is of a soul-humbling nature. * * * Christ is to be look­ed unto as Jesus, a Saviour, who, being appointed and sent by God to be a Saviour, came, and is become the Author of eternal salvation; and to Him only should we look for it. He is able and willing to save; He is a suitable, complete, and only Saviour; and whoever looks to Him by faith shall be saved; and He is to be considered, and looked unto, as the Author and Finisher of faith: He is the Author or efficient cause of it; all men by nature are without it; it is not in the power of man to believe of himself; it is a work of omnip­otence; it is an instance of the exceeding great­ness of the power of God; and it is the operation of Christ, by His Spirit; and the increase of it is from Him, Luke xvii. 5."-GilI, 9-478.

Sometimes men in the presumption of their ignorance lay great stress on the act of believing, as though saving belief was an exclusive product of the power of their minds, and was actually pro­duced by some great effort of themselves. While Paul so often speaks of faith, yet it is not the act of believing itself, but the thing believed; not the mere believing, but the great and glorious object of faith-Jesus Christ-which the mind and af­fections embraces.The Lord's people should never be surprised at their seasons of unbelief. For there will be times in which their faith in God will be darkly clouded with many doubts and fears. Abraham, whose faith stands on everlasting record, bad his seasons of unbelief and doubts. For it was plainly through unbelief that He and Sarah tried to as­sist the Lord and keep His promise from being a failure. In their unbelief they put forth their ef­forts to help the Lord and keep His word from falling to the ground. But the Lord's promise was just as certain of fulfillment as if they had never doubted it in the least degree whatever. For their unbelief did not hinder the fulfillment of that pro­mise, nor cause the Lord to change His arrange­ments about the matter, because He carefully seen that His promise was made good when His own time rolled around. And now people sometimes say that it is dangerous to wait until the time of the Lord may come, and it plainly appears that that was exactly what Abraham and Sarah thought. For in full harmony with such doctrine they put forth their best efforts to aid God; but we see that the results of their free will en­deavors, though so well intended, was only a mock­ing Ishmaelite. And all believers will surely read this history of Abraham to but little profit, if they fail to discover this important lesson. While our labors are so necessary to our obedience, yet they are not calculated to aid the Lord in any of His sovereign and gracious designs.

"The Lord has also engaged to bestow upon believers all good: 'They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.'- Ps. xxxiv. 10. Their loving Shepherd will see that they lack nothing, no good thing will be withheld from them. To the same purpose are the promises in the New Testa­ment, Matt. vi. 33; 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (food and raiment, and all necessaries) shall be added unto you.' I, your God and Saviour, give you My word for it; trust Me, and you shall never want. With confidence did he believe it, who said to the Philippians, iv. 19, 'My God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.' What a powerful motive is here for so many, ever so great, our God has engaged to supply them all! We may boldly, then cast all our care upon Him, since He careth for us, and may rest assured of His managing our whole outward estate infinitely better than we could ourselves. What trouble, what burdens, shall we be hereby eased of! What peace of mind shall we enjoy, when we can give up all our temporal concerns into the Lord's hands and by faith see them all conducted for our good, by His infinite wisdom and almighty love! Blessed surely is the man who putteth his trust in the Lord his God. He is de­livered from the anxious care of getting, and from the fear of losing what he has got; he is easy about the present--the future he leaves to the Lord; his conversation is, without covetousness, and he is content with such things as he has, and thereby escapes thousands of the common troubles of life. In this sweet peace he enjoys his soul, be­cause the Lord has said to him, 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.' "-Romaine, pages 74-5.